Until 2017, 13 Smelter Nickels have Operated

By : Herry Barus And Aldo Bella Putra | Thursday, December 28 2017 - 18:00 IWST

Ilustrasi Smelter
Ilustrasi Smelter

INDUSTRY.co.id - Jakarta - The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources noted that until October 2017 there are 13 nickel smelter facilities already in operation and produce various products such as NPI, FeNi and NiHidroxide.

Director General of Mineral and Coal Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Bambang Gatot Ariyono said on Wednesday (27/12/2017) that investment for the construction of domestic nickel refining facilities reached approximately US $ 5.03 billion or around Rp68 trillion.

"The nickel smelter investment is worth Rp68 trillion, ranging from Vale, Antam, Sulawesi Mining Investment, COR Industries Indonesia, etc. There are thirteen operating companies, these are in operation and nothing stops," Bambang Gatot told media crew at Office of the ESDM Ministry Jakarta, Wednesday.

There are also thirteen companies that have built nickel smelter PT Vale Indonesia, PT Aneka Tambang (Pomala), PT Fajar Bhakti Lintas Nusantara, PT Sulawesi Mining Investment, PT Gebe Industry Nickel, PT Megah Surya Pertiwi and PT COR Industri Indonesia.

Furthermore, there are Heng Tai Yuan, Century Metalindo, Indonesia Guang Ching Nickel and Stainless Steel, Virtu Dragon, PT Surya Saga Utama (Blackspace), and PT Bintang Timur Steel.

As of October 2017, thirteen operated nickel smelters produced 598,000 tonnes (FeNi and NPI) and 64 thousand tonnes of Ni-Matte, and were able to purify domestic nickel ore of 34 million ton.

Bambang added that during the last two years, there are two nickel smelters that stopped operating due to economic factors resulting from increased operating costs (cokes) and the weakening of mineral commodity prices in early 2017.

"The nickel purification facility that stops operating is Indoferro since July 19, 2017, and Cahaya Modern Metal Industri since January 2016 because the coke price increase reaches 300 US Dollar per ton," said Bambang.

The economic level in operating nickel smelting using "Blast Furnace" technology is strongly influenced by raw material prices, one of which is the coke which has a 40 percent share of the total production cost.

The main cause of the non-operation of smelters using the Blast Furnace technology is the rise in coke prices from an average of 100 US dollars / tonne in 2015 to 200-300 US dollars / tonne since late 2016.

This resulted in the cessation of production activities of PT Cahaya Modern Metal Industri, while PT Indoferro from the beginning was not in design to purify the nickel ore so that its economic level will be different from the initial design. Indoferro was originally designed to purify iron ore.

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